Raine & Horne comes a knocking

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Goldy Sharma may have begun his career in show business but he seems to have found his true calling in real estate. Sharma took over as the Director of Raine & Horne Melton in July 2010, when the existing Melton office was expanded and launched fresh, simply because, in his own words, he foresaw the tremendous growth and profit the industry would enjoy.

As director of Raine & Horne, established in 1883 and considered one of the oldest and most trusted brands in Australia, Goldy says dealing with Indians is ‘close to his heart’. The company recently announced that it chose Werribee and Melton as the most promising areas to launch two new offices in the western suburb.

In an exclusive interview to Indus Age, Goldy advises migrants to invest in property and reap the benefits. Looking forward to establishing a rapport with the Indian communities in the West, Goldy invites all property investors — residential, commercial, religious, rural or agricultural to give him a call for their needs to buy, sell or rent.

  1. Raine & Horne has launched two real estate agencies in the West of Melbourne recently. Is this a reflection of the growth of real estate market in the Western suburbs?

Yes, certainly. The Western suburbs, especially Melton and Werribee, are growing at a fast pace.  Vast areas in Mt Cottrell, Rockbank, Plumpton and Tarneit are now looked at as the main urban growth zone to be developed. These areas will be subdivided in the future. Many new estates, houses and infrastructure such as the planned new ring road that would link Bacchus Marsh with Geelong and Epping can be noticed here as a result of the rapid development.

  1. Owing to your Indian background, do you focus mainly on Indian customers?

Of course, we are focusing on Indian customers but not Indians alone. We are open to everyone and every community ready to invest in property. However, dealing with Indians is close to my heart. From the recent statistics, it is seen that Indians are expressing interest in investment especially in the West.

  1. What made you establish two offices in the West when there are many other Indian Real Estate agents in the area?

Ours is a multicultural office. We have 16 staff in Melton and 6 in Werribee that includes Indians, Pakistanis, Europeans, and Aussies. This is the main factor that differentiates us from other agents. The second factor is that we are the only real estate agent in Melton open 7 days a week till 7pm. I am proud to say that we are very professional and have well trained staff.

  1. Was the First Home Owners Grant a reason for the real estate boom?

FHOG is indeed encouragement for new property buyers. With the implementation of FHOG, the Western suburbs show a higher growth in the real estate market in which Werribee and Melton are marked as the biggest markets.  To a certain extend the reduction of FHOG, affected the industry when new home buyers pulled out. But as it was only for a short period it didn’t affect the industry much and when it was increased again, the market returned to normal.

  1. Which community do you think is investing more in Melton?

People from all cultures are showing interest in property investment. Even though Indians and Asians explore Melton, I can say that Aussies are the biggest investors in the area.  The Egyptians, people from Middle East and Europeans also invest equally in Melton.

  1. Do you think Melbourne’s West is the best place for Indian investors?

Yes definitely. Indians are religious. From my experience, I have understood that the increase in the number of temples, gurudwaras and other religious institutions in Werribee and Rockbank are persuading Indians to choose the West. Also, there’s easy accessibility to Melbourne city. Affordability and growing infrastructure in the area also contribute much to the investment in the area.

  1. What type of properties are people looking at?

It is a mixed bag. In Melton, people mainly concentrate on investment property. But, the easy access to the city, shopping centers and schools have motivated the opening of three or four new estates such as Botanica Springs, Arnolds Creek, Belle Gardens and Peppermint Grove. Also, there are new schools opening in the area, which is contributing to the growth of real estate market in Melton. There are lots of reasons why investing here is a good option.

People are showing interest in both new and established houses. It’s a buyers’ market today. As plenty of plots are available in the West, anyone interested in buying property in Melton and Werribee can approach me any time. We have sold both land and houses for $230,000 plus in Melton and $250,000 in Werribee recently. We also provide brand new houses for $300,000 in both the areas.

  1. You are the Director of Raine & Horne Melton. How do you compare the real estate growth in Melton and Werribee?

Cost wise and resource wise, Werribee is more up-market than Melton. Though the median price is the same in both the suburbs, Melton stands above Werribee in affordability with a median price below $300,000.

The main reason for an increase in property buyers in Werribee is because this area is a popular link with the suburbs.

  1. Have recent natural calamities such as the flood and cyclone in Queensland and the fall in the value of Australian dollar affected the real estate market?

The real estate market in Werribee was affected by the recent flood. Melton, however, was not at all affected. The recent flood in Werribee did bring the morale of the people down. The storm that occurred during the weekend brought down customer enquiries. Home and land customers were very disturbed. All the construction stopped during that time as the situation was beyond anyone’s control. Luckily we didn’t receive any complaints at our offices.

  1. What are your plans?

We have embedded our brand in Melton since 1969. Though in Werribee we have to begin from scratch, I am confident that the multiculturalism and the trained and dedicated staff can manage and compete with the other agencies. We are planning to attract customers through attractive products.  We have the best homes in Melton for sale. New houses have been released with a rate of $330,000 plus in Melton and $340,000 plus in Werribee.